Beginning April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be sending new Medicare cards to beneficiaries. The new cards are being sent to decrease Medicare beneficiaries’ vulnerability to identity theft by removing the Social Security-based number from their Medicare identification cards and replacing it with a new unique Medicare Number. Example of Your NEW Medicare card: .
10 things to know about your new Medicare card
Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.
Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
Watch out for scams Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card.
Scientists Push Plan To Change How Researchers Define Alzheimer's April 10, 20185:04 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition
An international coalition of brain researchers is suggesting a new way of looking at Alzheimer's. Instead of defining the disease through symptoms like memory problems or fuzzy thinking, the scientists want to focus on biological changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's. These include the plaques and tangles that build up in the brains of people with the disease. But they say the new approach is intended only for research studies and isn't yet ready for use by most doctors who treat Alzheimer's patients. If the new approach is widely adopted, it would help researchers study patients whose brain function is still normal, but who are likely to develop dementia caused by Alzheimer's.
SHOTS - HEALTH NEWSNeuroscientist Predicts 'Much Better Treatment' For Alzheimer's Is 10 Years Away "There is a stage of the disease where there are no symptoms and we need to have some sort of a marker," says Eliezer Masliah, who directs the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. The new approach would be a dramatic departure from the traditional way of looking at Alzheimer's, says Clifford Jack, an Alzheimer's researcher at Mayo Clinic Rochester. In the past, "a person displayed a certain set of signs and symptoms and it was expected that they had Alzheimer's pathology," says Jack, who is the first author of the central paper describing the proposed new "research framework." But researchers began to see the flaws in that approach when they took a close look at the brains of people receiving experimental drugs for the disease, Jack says. "About 30 percent of people who met all the appropriate clinical criteria did not have Alzheimer's disease." Their memory or thinking problems were being caused by something else. So researchers have been looking for more reliable ways of determining whether someone really has Alzheimer's. And they've focused on the two best-known brain changes associated with the disease. "What we're seeing now is that Alzheimer's disease is defined by the presence of plaques and tangles in your brain," Jack says. And in this way of thinking, he says, "symptoms become the result of the disease, not the definition of the disease."
SHOTS - HEALTH NEWS Scientists Explore Ties Between Alzheimer's And Brain's Ancient Immune System Once it was virtually impossible to detect plaques and tangles in a living person. But over time, scientists have developed a number of ways to spot the abnormalities using special brain scans or tests of spinal fluid. These tests for what are known as biomarkers of Alzheimer's are allowing scientists to do experiments that would have been impossible relying on symptoms alone. "One could, let's say, start preventive treatment five years before the onset of the symptoms," Masliah says. The new approach has detractors, who argue that it's not yet a reliable replacement for clinical symptoms in research. And proponents have responded to these complaints by including symptom measures in their proposal, and acknowledging that biomarkers are still in an early stage of development. Proponents have also stressed that the biomarker approach is not yet the right tool for most doctors who treat Alzheimer's patients. "It's a research framework meant to be tested, a tool for researchers, not for the doctor's office," says Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association. But Carrillo hopes that when drugs to prevent Alzheimer's finally arrive, biomarker tests can show who should get them.